1. Operation Sankalp. Amidst the increasing US – Iran tensions in the Gulf region, since June 2019, IN has been undertaking Maritime Security Operation code-named Op SANKALP in the Gulf Region to ensure safe passage of Indian Flag Merchant Vessels (IFMVs) transiting through the Strait of Hormuz. Since execution, IN has deployed 16 warships and escorted approximately 161 Lakh Tonnes of cargo onboard 156 IFMVs, thereby provided a sense of reassurance to our seafarers, and protecting Indian owned hulls and the trade embarked on them.
2. UN World Food Programme (UN WFP) Escort Mission. IN has been contributing to UN WFP efforts by providing security to vessels carrying food to East African nations. INS Airavat escorted UN WFP chartered ship MV Juist carrying relief food cargo from Berbera to Mogadishu in Somalia from 05–14 June 2020, under challenging sea/ weather conditions. This was the third WFP escort mission undertaken by the IN in last three years.
3. Operation Samudra Setu. IN ships Jalashwa, Shardul, Airavat and Magar were deployed from May – July 2020 for Operation Samudra Setu to undertake repatriation of stranded Indian Nationals in the wake of COVID-19, from Iran, Maldives and Sri Lanka. IN ships deployed for Op Samudra Setu evacuated 3992 Indian Nationals including 3551 males, 387 females and 54 children.
4. Mission SAGAR and SAGAR-II. INS Kesari was deployed to the Southern IOR Island nations as part of ‘Mission SAGAR’ for rendering COVID-19 related assistance from May-June2020.During deployment, the ship provided medicine stores &medical kits to Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles. IN Medical Teams embarked onboard the ships also provided medical assistance to Mauritius and Comoros. As part of the follow up humanitarian outreach mission by India, Mission SAGAR II, INS Airavat was deployed to deliver 270 MT of humanitarian aid stores to Djibouti, Massawa (Eritrea), Port Sudan and Mombasa, Kenya (for South Sudan) from October-November 2020.
EXERCISES WITH FOREIGN NAVIES
5. Naseem-Al-Bahr 2020. IN and Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) bilateral exercise Naseem-Al-Bahr was conducted at/ off Goa from January 07–10 October 2020. RNO ships Al Rasikh and Al Khassab along with IN ships Beas and Subhadra participated in the exercise.
6. INDRA NAVY 2020. IN and Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) bilateral exercise Indra Navy was conducted in Bay of Bengal from 04-05 September 2020. RuFN ships Admiral Tributs, Admiral Vinogrodov, Boris Butoma and IN ships Ranvijay, Kiltan, Shakti participated in the exercise.
7. JIMEX 2020. IN and JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self Defence Force) bilateral exercise JIMEX 2020 was conducted in the Arabian Sea from 26-28 September 2020. JMSDF ships Kaga and Ikazuchi; IN ships Chennai, Tarkash and Deepak, IN aircraft P8I, MIG 29K and integral helicopters of both navies participated in the biennial exercise.
8. BONGO SAGAR 2020. IN and Bangladesh Navy (BN) bilateral exercise Bongosagar 2020 was conducted in North Bay of Bengal from 03-04 October 2020. BN ships Prottoy and Abu Bakr along with Maritime Patrol Aircraft and IN ships Khukri and Kiltan along with Dornier aircaft and integral helicopter participated in the exercise.
9. SLINEX 2020. IN and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) bilateral exercise SLINEX 2020 was conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 19-21 October 2020. SLN ships Sayura and Gajabahu and IN ships Kiltan and Kamorta along with Dornier aircraft and integral helicopters participated in the exercise. Maiden landing of Advanced Landing Helicopter (ALH) was undertaken onboard SLN Ship Gajabahu during the exercise, to showcase IN’s indigenous capability.
10. MALABAR 2020. Multi-lateral exercise between IN and US Navy (USN), Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ships and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) was conducted in the IOR from 03-06 and 17 November 2020.
11. SITMEX 2020. Multi-lateral exercise between IN, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Royal Thailand Navy (RTN) was conducted the Eastern IOR from 21-22 November 2020.
12. SIMBEX 2020. IN and Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) bilateral exercise SIMBEX 2020 was conducted in Eastern IOR from 23-25 Nov 2020.
13. PASSEX. The Indian Navy undertakes Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with friendly foreign navy units on opportune occasions to enhance inter-operability and imbibe best practices. Following PASSEXs were undertaken in 2020:-
(a) PASSEX with French Navy. PASSEX was conducted between French Naval Ships Mistral and Geupratte and IN Ships Talwar and Trikand from 23–24 May 2020 in Gulf of Aden.
(b) PASSEX with Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF). PASSEX was conducted between JMSDF training ships Kashima and Shimayuki and IN ships Rana, Kulish on 27 June 2020 in Eastern IOR.
(c) PASSEX with United States Navy (USN). PASSEX was conducted between USN ships Nimitz, Princeton, Ralph Johnson, Sterett and IN Ships Rana, Sahyadri, Shivalik, Kamorta from 20-21 July 2020 in the Bay of Bengal.
(d) PASSEX with Australian Navy. PASSEX was conducted between Australian ship HMAS Toowoomba and IN Ship Kochi on January 24, 2020. Another PASSEX was conducted between Australian ship HMAS Hobart and IN ships Sahyadri and Karmuk from 24-25 September 2020 in Eastern IOR.
14. Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) with Indian Ocean Region Littoral Navies. As part of maritime security cooperation with maritime neighbours, Coordinated Patrols along the IMBL are being conducted with Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar, as per established MoUs and Standard Operating Procedures.
15. Anti-Piracy Patrol. To address the wide range and large spread of unconventional security challenges in the maritime domain such as piracy, smuggling, human trafficking, gun-running etc, IN has been deploying a ship in the Gulf of Aden since 2008. A total of 84 ships have been deployed to-date.
16. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Surveillance. IN is committed to assisting friendly IOR littoral nations in maritime surveillance. Accordingly, based on request of the host government, IN regularly undertakes surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zone of Maldives once a month, and of Seychelles and Mauritius twice a year by deploying IN ships and aircraft.
17. IN Dornier Deployment.
(a) Sri Lanka. IN Dornier was deployed to Sri Lanka from 17 to 20 February 2020 for undertaking training and surveillance missions.
(b) IN Dornier Deployment at Maldives. IN Dornier Det was deployed to Hanimaadhoo, Maldives for joint EEZ surveillance, Medvac and SAR on two occasions from 27 July to 10 August 2020 and 08 – 15 September 2020.
ASSISTANCE TO FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS
18. Assistance to Government of Madagascar. In January 2020, IN Ship Airavat, which was mission deployed in the South Western IOR, was diverted to Antsiranana, Madagascar for ‘Operation Vanilla’ to provide HADR to the affected populace post devastation caused by Cyclone Diane. The relief material comprising disaster relief stores, clothing, food and medicines were handed over to Government of Madagascar in presence of the Prime Minster of Republic of Madagascar, His Excellency Christian Lois Ntsay, on 01 Feb 20. Further, IN Ship Shardul deployed to South Western IOR in March 2020 delivered of 600 tons of rice to Antsiranana, Madagascar as relief, in the backdrop of floods in the country.
19. Assistance to Government of Mauritius. IN Ship Nireekshak was deployed from August 13 – September 18, 2020 to provide assistance to the Government of Mauritius in the backdrop of the environmental hazard caused due to grounding of MV Wakashio. The ship provided seaward security, search and rescue cover for the salvers and also assistance for diving operations. The ship additionally undertook night diving operations in rough weather conditions to locate Tug Gaetan, which had sunk off Mauritius and placed heavy cement blocks around the sunken tug in support of oil spill contingency plan of Govt of Mauritius.
20. Assistance to Philippine Naval Ship. Philippine Navy (PN) Ships BRP Ramon Alcaraz and BRP Davao Del entered Kochi harbour on May 06, 2020 for embarkation of Philippine nationals and collection of COVID-19 face masks. The ships departed on May 07, 2020. Post leaving harbour, there was an incident of fire onboard Ramon Alcaraz on 07 May 20, the ship returned to Kochi on May 08, 2020. Two PN sailors who had suffered burns and were evacuated to INHS Sanjivani. One sailor was found to be in a more serious condition and post initial treatment was transferred to Command Hospital Bangalore on May 12, 2020 by Military Air Ambulance. In addition, technical assistance was also rendered by NSRY (Kochi) for repair of fire damage in the Engine Room.
21. Assistance to Maldives. One ALH Mk III aircraft along with IN crew has been deployed at Kadhdhoo, Maldives since 24 April 2016. Further, one IN DO in MNDF colours along with crew was deployed at a short notice in spite of travel restrictions imposed by COVID 19 at Hanimadhoo, Maldives from 29 September 2020. Consequent to a request from the Government of Maldives, refit of MNDF Huravee was successfully undertaken by Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam from 10 March to 07 November 2020.
22. Hydrographic FC Initiatives of IN. The IN ships were deployed to Mauritius, Seychelles and Sri Lanka. The successful completion of surveys has once again proved Indian Navy’s reach, capability and has contributed immensely towards strengthening the bilateral relations with respective countries. The details of foreign cooperation surveys undertaken are enumerated in succeeding paragraphs:-
(a) Survey of Seychelles. INS Darshak was deployed for 28 days with effect from 26 December 2019 to Seychelles for the conduct of hydrographic surveys based on requests received from Government of Seychelles.
(b) Survey of Sri Lanka. INS Jamuna was deployed for 61 days from 04 February 2020 to Sri Lanka for the conduct of joint hydrographic surveys. During the deployment, survey of Kosgoda to Weligama was undertaken.
23. Logistics Agreements. In order to enhance capability and ensure sustenance, India has concluded Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) with Australia on 04 June 2020 and Reciprocal Provisions for Support and Services (RPSS) with Japan on 09 September 2020.
HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE AND DISASTER RELIEF (HADR)
24. Casualty Evacuation from MV Vishwa Prerna. On 05 August 2020, Sea King helicopter from Naval Air Station Garuda, Kochi airlifted injured Master of MV Vishwa Prerna from anchorage area off Kochi and transferred him to a civil hospital for medical assistance.
25. Rescue of Fishermen. Four fishermen were rescued from a sinking boat near Manali Tivu Island in Tamil Nadu (13 Nautical miles South East of Tuticorin) on 26 July 2020 by IN Chetak helicopter operating from Naval Air Station Parundu.
26. Assistance to MV New Diamond. On 03 September 2020, IN ship Sahyadri was diverted to provide assistance to Panama flagged Crude Oil Tanker New Diamond off the East coast of Sri Lanka. On request of Sri Lankan Navy, the ship assumed duties of On-Scene-Commander to coordinate firefighting and salvage efforts. As On-Scene-Commander, Sahyadri was instrumental in coordinating firefighting, salvage and towing operations.
27. Assistance to Distressed Dhow Al Hamid off Somalia. On 05 January 2020, IN Ship Sumedha deployed in the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy patrol was diverted to render assistance to Sri Lankan registered dhow Al Hamid with 13 Indians onboard, which was adrift off Somalia. The ship arrived in the area and provided first aid to the casualties. On request from the Master, dhow was thereafter towed seawards to prevent drifting ashore and, IN Ship Sumedha maintained in vicinity to thwart any piracy attempts till arrival of towing vessel.
COMMISSIONING AND LAUNCHING/ START PRODUCTION
28. Commissioning of INS Kavaratti. INS Kavaratti, the fourth and last ship of Project 28, was commissioned on 22 October 2020 at Visakhapatnam.
29. Commissioning of IN LCU L57 (Yard 2098). IN LCU L57 was commissioned at Port Blair on 15 May 20. The ship is seventh of eight LCU MK IV ships being constructed by M/s GRSE, Kolkata.
30. Keel Laying of Yard 3023. Keel laying ceremony of Yard 3023 (Second ship of Project 17A at M/s GRSE) was held on 24 Jan 2020 at GRSE, Kolkata.
31. Keel Laying of Yard 12653. Keel laying ceremony of Yard 12653 (3rdship of Project 17A at M/s MDL) was held on 10 Sep 2020 at MDL, Mumbai.
32. Start of Production of Yard 12654. Production of Yard 12654 (4thship of Project 17A at M/s MDL) was commenced on 22 Jan 2020 at MDL, Mumbai.
33. Start of Production of Yard 3024. Production of Yard 3024 (3rdship of Project 17A at M/s GRSE) was commenced on 22 Aug 2020 at GRSE, Kolkata.
INNOVATION AND INDIGENISATION
34. Introduction of Higher Specs Fuel for IN Ships (LSHFHSD – IN 512). Indian Navy in collaboration with M/s IOCL carried out an extensive, thorough study along with a comparative evaluation of existing international regulations (ISO, MARPOL, NATO etc) and as an outcome, new fuel specs meeting international and NATO standards, were launched in January 2020. Supply of the new fuel through IOCL commenced in March 2020. This initiative would go a long way in enhancing equipment reliability, performance, reduced carbon footprint, emissions and more importantly would be key enabler in the Navy’s ‘Mission Based Deployment’ on a global scale.
35. New Generation Fire Fighting System. In order to meet global protocols (Montreal and Kyoto protocol in respect of Ozone depletion potential (ODP) and Global Warming potential (GWP) respectively), IN has migrated from Halon based FF system and CO2 based FF system to environmentally benign New Generation Fire Fighting system for onboard application, adhering to the Global Classification Society and other statutory norms.
36. Indigenisation Efforts. IN continues to be in the forefront of indigenisation, in-line with the Government’s vision for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. Out of 43 ships on order, 41 are being built indigenously and AoN exists for construction of 44 ships and submarines to be built indigenously. With the concerted efforts by all stakeholders, IN has developed 23 major equipment/systems and over 4500 sub-assemblies/components indigenously for IN Ships and Submarines till date. The first ‘Commercial Supply’ of indigenously designed and developed Sonar Dome for IN ships was supplied by M/s Kineco, Goa in September 20. This is a part of Indian Navy’s sustained impetus on indigenisation.
IN EFFORTS DURING COVID-19
37. Various innovative solutions have been worked out by IN Yards which includes Multi-Feed Oxygen Manifold, portable Non-Contact Thermometer, UV sterilization chamber for sanitization of tools and uniforms, development of foot pedal operated cleansing stations, etc.
38. Development of Innovative PPE. An innovative PPE was developed by the Innovation Cell at the Institute of Naval Medicine in collaboration with the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. This PPE uses a fabric that is splash resistant, protects the user from infectious particles yet provides breathability, thereby permitting the user to be on duty for longer periods of time without fatigue. The PPE is easy to manufacture, using an indigenous, easy-to-source fabric and very basic tailoring skills, thus providing jobs to local tailoring units as well as promoting the ‘Make in India’ programme. The cost of the PPE is less than Rs 550/- compared to Rs 1,800 – Rs 2,000 for a conventional imported PPE. National Research and Development Corporation has licensed six firms for mass production. Number of Armed Forces, Govt and Private hospitals are using the PPE &have expressed tremendous user satisfaction. SVBP COVID Hospital in New Delhi also placed orders for 25,000 PPEs worth Rs 1.1 Crores.
39. Uploading of COVID-19 Information on IONS Website. Towards sharing the information related to COVID-19 with IOR littorals, INis sharing the information and innovations undertaken to combat COVID-19 with IONS nations. Towards this, information page has been hosted on IONS website, containing various documents and videos. The list of uploaded items are enumerated below:-
(a) Document on Navigating COVID-19 Pandemic.
(b) Indian Navy innovations for use by IONS nations.
(c) Battle Field Nursing Assistant (BFNA) training video.
WELFARE AND EMPOWERMENT
40. Commemoration of Fourth Armed Forces Veterans’ Day. The fourth edition of Armed Forces Veterans’ Day was commemorated on 14 January 2020 at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi with an aim to provide requisite thrust to welfare of veterans, widows and their dependents. About 2600 veterans from all three Services attended the function.
41. Women Empowerment. Following actions have been undertaken by IN to provide enhanced opportunities for women officers:-
(a) Four women officers have been appointed onboard ships.
(b) Two women Observer officers have been streamed into Seaking stream in September 2020, for first time.
(c) A woman officer has been streamed into RPA streamfor first time.
(d) A woman observer officer has been deputed overseas at Maldives as part of Dornier aircrew for a period of one year.
(e) The first woman officer has been inducted into Provost Specialisation and deputed for At-Arms course in Jul 20.
(f) A woman officer has been appointed as ADA, Moscowfor first time.
42.NIIO. In keeping with the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) was inaugurated by Raksha Mantri on 13 August 2020. Indian Navy had signed four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), Raksha Shakti University (RSU) at Gujarat, Maker Village at Kochi and the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) to interact with academia and industry towards fostering innovation and indigenisation for self-reliance in defence. In addition, IN’s Indigenisation Plan titled ‘SWAVLAMBAN’ was also released by Hon’ble RakshaMantri, as part of launch of ‘Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation’. The document has since been uploaded on websites of Indian Navy and SIDM to ensure wider dissemination, for the industrial ecosystem and other stakeholders.
43.DEFEXPO 2020. DEFEXPO 2020, a flagship biennial Defence Exhibition hosted by MoD, was held in Lucknow from February 05 – 09, 2020. This was the eleventh edition of DEFEXPO with a theme of ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’. 172 foreign defence manufactures participated in the event. Indigenisation Pavilion was set up during DEFEXPO 2020 held from 05-09 Feb 20 at Lucknow. The Navy Pavilion on Indigenisation comprised of 10 stalls for displaying IN’s indigenisation efforts. The pavilion had housed indigenously developed Machinery Control Systems, Sensors, Armament spares, NCN equipment, Aviation components and machinery spares. The pavilion had witnessed footfall of more than 200 industry reps and dignitaries.
44.India – Africa Defence Minister’s Conclave. Maiden India-Africa Defence Minister’s Conclave was held on February 06, 2020 at Lucknow in conjunction with DEFEXPO-20. Hon’ble RM inaugurated the event, which was attended by the senior leadership from MoD and Indian Armed Forces. A joint declaration – ‘Lucknow Declaration’ was signed as part of the Conclave. Over 154 delegates from Africa including Defence Ministers from 14 African countries, Members of Parliament, 19 Defence and Service Chiefs and eight Permanent Secretaries from 38 African countries participated in the Conclave.
45.Award of President’s Colour
On the occasion of Platinum Jubilee, INS Shivaji was awarded the presidents colour in February 2020, in recognition of meritorious service rendered towards training of personnel.
46.39th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica.
Hydrographic survey team consisting of one Long Hydrography course qualified officer and one Hydro sailor participated in the 39th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica from December 2019 to May 2020. They carried out hydrographic survey off Larseman Hill and Princess Astrid Coast.
47. LCA (NAVY). LCA (N) programme is being jointly developed by ADA &IN. The project achieved a major milestone on 11 Jan 2020 when the aircraft undertook the first ever arrested landing on the aircraft carrier.
48. Victory Day Parade. Victory Day Parade to commemorate 75th anniversary celebrations of World War II was held at Moscow, Russia on 24 Jun 2020. A 75 member tri-services contingent, including 19 members (02 Officers and 17 sailors) from IN participated in the parade.
49. International Level. Two naval Sportsmen Naveen and Paramjeet represented India in the 1st Ranking Series International Wrestling Tournament held from 15-18 Jan 20 in Italy. Sanjay Kumar was awarded Mac-Gregor Memorial Medal 2020 by USI for outstanding performance in high endurance ultra-marathons under extreme conditions and at high altitudes. Lt Cdr Abhinav Jha of INS Karna qualified to represent India in 100 km running world championship which was scheduled to be conducted at Netherlands inSeptember 2020 (event postponed in view of COVID-19).
50.National Level.Naval sportspersons/teams participated in i) 63rd National Shooting Championship; ii) 68th Senior National Volleyball Championship; iii) Khelo India Youth Games 2020; iv) Senior Men National Hockey Championship 2020 v) 30th Senior National Kayaking & Canoeing Championship; vi) 30th Senior National Fencing Championship and vii) 48th Senior National Handball Championship and won laurels.